Before we delve into the specifics, it's important to establish an understanding of spring loads. The force exerted by a spring is referred to as its load. This force changes as the spring is compressed or expanded. When we talk about static and dynamic loads, we're referring to two distinct types of loads that a spring may undergo.

Static load refers to the load experienced by a spring when the load is constant. On the other hand, dynamic load refers to the load experienced by a spring is changing.

Understanding the distinction in design strategies between the two loading types is key to successful spring design and selection. This understanding can influence the performance and durability of a spring in its application.

2. Static Spring Loads

A static spring load is exerted when a spring is either at rest or moving at a consistent velocity, ie its neither compressing nor extending additionally over time. It is the constant force applied to a spring under these conditions. Static loading can also be assumed when the total cyclic usage of the spring is very low and occurs over very long timeframes. This force is typically calculated using Hooke's Law:

F = kx 


This formula tells us that the force exerted by the spring is proportional to the displacement from its original position.

2.1. Characteristics and Implications of Static Loads

Static loads present a predictable scenario for engineers. Because the load is constant, there is less potential for wear and tear on the spring, resulting in longer service life. However, static loads may lead to permanent deformation if they exceed the spring's elastic limit, so understanding the material properties of the spring is vital in static load scenarios.

3. Dynamic Spring Loads

Dynamic spring loads, unlike static loads, involve forces that vary with time. This means that the load on the spring changes, either in magnitude or direction, over time. This typically occurs due to the movement of the spring itself or the surrounding components.

The dynamics of a spring are generally analyzed using second order differential equations derived from Newton's second law of motion. This requires more advanced mathematical techniques, and is often computationally intensive.

3.1. Characteristics and Implications of Dynamic Loads

Dynamic loads present more challenges due to their variable nature. They can lead to problems like material fatigue and resonance, which can significantly decrease a spring's lifespan. Therefore, it's vital to consider the frequency and amplitude of the dynamic loads a spring is expected to endure.

4. Choosing Between Static and Dynamic Spring Loads

Choosing the right spring for your application requires understanding the type of load it will experience. If the load is static, a spring with a higher elastic limit may be appropriate, while if the load is dynamic, a spring with high fatigue resistance and good damping properties may be more suitable.

When selecting a spring under dynamic load conditions, engineers often use the concept of the natural frequency of the spring. The natural frequency is the frequency at which the spring naturally tends to oscillate when not subjected to a damping force. It can be calculated using the following formula:

fn = (1 / (2π)) * √(k / m) 


5. Design Considerations for Static and Dynamic Spring Loads

A spring's design should align with its intended use. Static spring loads generally require a design focus on the elastic limit, while dynamic spring loads need considerations for damping and fatigue resistance.

One common design approach for springs under dynamic load is to ensure that the spring's natural frequency is significantly different from the frequency of the dynamic load. This avoids resonance conditions, which can cause extreme stress on the spring and lead to failure.

For static loads, ensuring the load doesn't exceed the spring's elastic limit is the primary focus.

6. Conclusion

Understanding the difference between static and dynamic spring loads is crucial for effective spring design and selection. Each type of load carries its own characteristics and implications, and knowing these can help engineers predict the performance and lifespan of their spring designs. By considering factors such as the elastic limit, natural frequency, and material fatigue, engineers can make informed decisions and design springs that are optimal for their specific applications.